DIY RV Bunk Bed Safety Rail Ideas (Helpful Guide and Tips)

It is easy to complain especially when you buy an RV or travel trailer that does not have bunk bed rails. You may think it is a sloppy job on Jayco’s or other RV maker’s part but in reality, it is the lawyers who put a stop to having those safety rails installed.

There is a myriad of DIY ideas you can select from. One owner cut up a 1 by 12, rounded the corners and edges, painted the wood, and then installed it in his top bunks. This option allows for easy access while keeping your grandkids safe while they toss and turn at night.

To learn about more of these great ideas, just continue to read our article. it has those ideas and more. Take a few minutes to see how this important information can solve a problem for you when you have the grandkids visiting.

RV Bunk Bed Safety Rail

Because of the liability factor and the sue-happy nature of many American people and lawyers, RV makers do not place bunk bed safety rails inside their vehicles or trailers. The logic is that no one can sue you for faulty rails when no rails are present in the RV, etc.

This means that you have to come up with your own plan if you have small children or grandchildren. You may think this is an oversight but in reality, it is merely self-protection by the RV makers.

This is actually a minor glitch in your holiday plans. It is probably fairly reasonable that you could come up with a better system than what the RV makers would install. After all, those RV makers look for the cheapest solution possible.

Then, there are so many good options out there that you can test yourself to make sure they are strong enough to hold your family members safely in the bunk. Buying your own is probably the best option for you to have some peace of mind when you go to sleep.

You know the kids will be safe because you picked the right safety rail for them.

Camper Bunk Bed Rail Ideas


There are a lot of good commercial ideas that you can utilize. Some designs have metal legs and feet that slip underneath the mattress. The mattress will hold the rail in place and keep your kids safe at the same time.

Or you can simply buy a safety rail at your local department store and use it. However, those items may not be in stock or sold separately so the best thing to do is design and make your own.

This is something that many RV owners have done. One guy spent $10 on some PVC pipe and used it to secure his grandchildren in the top bunk. A little glue to hold the pieces together and some spray paint and the rail looks like it belongs in the RV. it also looks like it will hold a tank in that top bunk.

The design we mentioned, in the beginning, is nice and solid. What we didn’t mention was that the board was held in place by two shelf brackets about 12 inches long in each direction. 2 were holding one 1 by 12 inches by 3 feet approx. and provided a lot of security.

Another owner went to a baby and children’s accessories. In that store, they found a folding metal rail and it was secured by legs going under the mattress. The rail could be folded for storage and should not take up a lot of space. But it is strong enough to hold children safely in their bunk.

Another option would be to install a safety net. As long as it holds enough weight these should be an inexpensive option. The key to using a safety net would be securing it to the right stud.

One final suggestion in this category is for you to buy a nice long piece of 2 x 4 and make your own railing. This would require adding some legs to secure the rail to the bunk plus using a router to round those edges with a nice safe design.

Best Bed Rail for RV Bunk


We happen to favor a wood construction material. The reason for this is that wood is easy to work with, easy to cut to the right size, and easy to measure. Plus, you can use a variety of wood pieces to create the perfect bunk bed rail for your RV or trailer.

Also, you can use hardwood and give it a good stain. hardwood is difficult to break and can hold back a lot of weight. Plus, it looks prettier than softwoods do at times. Unless you stain the softwood pieces to look like hardwood.

Safety nets are okay but one would have to worry about the weight capacity and force resistance level. These would have to be really strong to hold a child inside their bunk. Their drawback is their looks. A safety net just doesn’t look as good as other options.

Metal and PVC pipes are okay but you have to worry about the strong chemicals in the glue that holds the pipe together. Then with metal rails, you need to worry about sharp edges. Even protective caps wear off over time and reveal the sharp edge when you are not looking.

DIY RV Bunk Bed Rail


One option would be to make your own bumper rail. These are mostly made of fabric with a soft core material inside the covering. If you are a talented sewer, this should not take long to figure out what is needed to make a nice soft bumper to keep little kids in their bunks.

One piece of long foam should do the trick or use some bean bag pillows to create the bumper. You would still need the sleeve but the bean bag pillows would be heavy enough and should stay in place overnight.

PVC pipe and some shelf brackets would also work. The shelf brackets would act as the legs and be secured by nuts, bolts, & washers on the lower portion of the pipe. Then they can be fastened to the bunk itself for added security.

It won’t take long to assemble the pipe. All you would need are 2 pieces of pipe 30 inches long or whatever length you need, 2 90-degree elbows 2 3-way connectors, and a little glue.

Maybe 30 minutes would be all the time it would take to assemble all the pieces and have them ready to go.

How do You Make a Bunk Bed Rail?


There are several different ways to go about this. The method you choose to use will often depend on the materials you are using to make the rails. If you go with the 1 by 12 option, you just need a good power saw, accurate measuring, and a jigsaw.

The jigsaw would be needed to round the corners of the board while the power saw cut the board to the length and width you want. Then if you have one, you just use a router to round off the edges on 3 sides.

Once the shaping is done, you should sand the board down to get rid of any slivers and paint the board. Painting is better than stain as it would be easier to match colors with paint.

After the paint is dry, attach a couple of 12-inch shelf brackets with some drywall screws and you are ready to install the rail onto the bunk bed. The PVC pipe option is probably just as easy to do.

Get some 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and make sure it is long enough for 2 railings and 2 legs. Then you would need to get the 90-degree elbows, the 3-way connectors, and some shelf brackets again.

Cut the pipe to the length you want and attach the 90-degree elbows to the top rail. Then cut your legs, one air should be 3 1/2 inches long, and attach the 3-way connector. Then cut the next pair of legs a little longer as you need to drill some holes into those legs.

The holes will be to attach the legs to the pipe. Slip the legs inside and put a nice sized bolt through and secure the other side with a washer and a nut. Use 2 bolts per leg. Then attach the lower legs to the connectors. make sure to glue everything in place so nothing falls apart at the wrong time.

When everything is assembled, simply spray paint the pipe to whatever color you want or need. When the paint is dry, secure the shelf brackets to the bunk.

How High Should a Bunk Bed Railing Be?


It seems that different states have different regulations regarding traditional bunk beds in a traditional home. These states regulate everything about the bunk bed including the opening between the end of the rail and the wall.

Those regulations also go by age. The older the child gets, the bigger the space between the rail and the wall. However, we did not see any website talking about the requirements for an RV bunk bed. There may be some and if this goes like everything else, then those restrictions would be up to the individual states.

You may have to contact your local DMY or other offices that regulates different aspects of RVs and trailers to find out the answer. From the images we saw, the bottom rail bottom started at the top of the mattress and went up 4 to 5 inches. Then there was a small gap of 3 inches before the next rail started.

In other words, you may be on your own on this as there does not seem to be many regulations governing this issue. Even the different RV discussion forums we looked at, did not have this information.

The DIY photos they posted did not show any standard height and were only as high as the builder wanted them to be.

RV Corner Bunk Bed Rail


You can try the bed bumper options as those will work well with corner RV bunk beds. They are flexible and they can be designed in different shapes and sizes to meet your needs. Some of the options come with no-slip grips and non-slip pads on the bottom to make sure the bumpers remain where you want them.

Or you can try the inflatable options since your grandchildren do not travel with you all the time. These will deflate and store out of the way without taking up any extra space or adding a lot of weight to your trailer or RV. A simple foot pump inflates them when they are needed.

A safety net would be a good option for this shape of the bunk bed. They also are easy to install and secure in place. Many come with a high load-bearing capacity that small kids will not break. These safety nets will be easy to store as well.

The key would be to make sure they are close to the color of your interior and if not they should be easy to paint. Fabric paint would do a good job on those items.

Some Final Words

When it comes to DIY bunk bed rails, you have a lot of options. It will be your creative nature using a little ingenuity and innovation that will help you solve your bunk bed issue.

Don’t blame the RV makers for the lack of providing bunk rails. Their position is very understandable. Their omission gives you a lot of freedom to create the perfect design for your kids or grandchildren.

We suggest looking at Pinterest and other sites to help give yourself some unique ideas that would fit in with your RV’s design and decor.

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